Strategies of meeting the special needs of children with disabilities
The following strategies are useful in meeting the special needs of children with disabilities.
(a) Reducing the deviation
This can be achieved in two ways - reducing the defect/disability and reducing the visibility of the defects.
(b) Reducing the disability
This is possible through the following strategies.
(i.) Practice - copy writing, speech training, remedial instruction etc.
(ii) Substitute learning-use of left hand if right hand becomes deformed. Lip reading if unable to develop speech, braile learning, type writing, if unable to write by hand etc. (Devices which help in improving functioning)
(iii.) Functional prosthetics – magnifying glasses for the children with partial sight, hearing aid calculators, if unable to compute, braile type writer, alphabetic chart for those who forget the shapes of the letters etc.
(c) Reducing the visibility of the defect:
This is helpful in developing positive attitude towards the children with physical defect. The visibility of the defect can be reduced through the following strategies.
Use of the cosmetic prosthetics; Use of articifial limbs which are not functional, wearing black glasses by blind person, transparent hearing aid. Etc. Compensatory learning; proper body posture control learning appropriate soial manners etc.
(d) Changing the environment: Manipulation of the environment is also very much essential in meeting the special needs of children with disability. this involves
- Alteration of physical environment, and,
- Alteration of the social environment.
- Alteration of the physical environment has two important objectives
- Improving responses-Removing architectural barrier so that mobility is eased, adaptation in the house hold articles so that day to day activities can be carried out without much difficulty, adaptations in the communication devices. like videophone for the deaf, talking machine for the blind etc.
- Improving stimulus large print book for the partially sighted, proper placement in the class for the deaf avoiding distraction for a child with concentration problems etc.
- Alteration of the social environment - through parental guidance and Counselling Orientation to the peers, public awareness programmes teacher training programmes.
Must Read : Inclusive Education
Role of teachers in meeting the special needs of children disabilities in the inclusive schools
The role of teachers in meeting the special needs of children with liabilities vary from one disability to other. How ever there are certain common roles. They are listed below.
- Identification of the children with disabilities in the classroom.
- Referring the identified to the experts for further examination and treatment.
- Accepting the children with disabilities.
- Developing positive attitude between normal children and disabled children.
- Placing the children in the classroom in proper places so that they feel comfortable and are benefited by the classroom interaction.
- Enabling the children with disabilities to avail the facilities provided for them under IED scheme.
- Removing architectural barriers wherever possible so that children with disabilities move independently.
- Involving the children with disabilities in almost all the activities of the classroom.
- Making suitable adaptation in the curriculum transaction so that the children with disabilities learn according to their ability.
- Preparation of teaching aids/adaptation of teaching aids which will help the children with disabilities learn.
- Parental guidance and Counselling and public awareness programme through school activities.
- Acquiring competencies which are essential in meeting the needs of the children with disabilities.
- Cooperating with resource teachers if resource rooms are available.
- Collaborating with medical and physiological personnel social workers, parents and special teachers.
- Providing scope for cooperative learning among disabled and normal children.
- Conducting case studies and action research related to the specific problem of children with special needs.
- Construction of achievement and diagnostic tool.
- Adaptation in evaluation for children with special needs.
- Nurturing the talent among children with disabilities.
- Providing remedial instruction to the children who require it.
The teachers can perform the above roles only when essential competencies are developed among them. This calls for intensive training of the teachers with adequate practical component.
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